The 3 of Wands reversed tells me that I need to stop trying to focus on external projects. Now is not the time for that. Now I need to focus on internal projects – caring for myself, tapping into my creative energies and just relaxing. These are things I have ignored in favor of slugging (simple sitting in a vegetative state).
The 7 of Pentacles reminds me that I need to stop and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Of course that would have to mean I’ve actually done labor so that there are fruits to enjoy. Right now I’m coasting. And I’m not saying that as a negative judgment on myself. I’m exhausted, tired and burnt out so much of the time the only thing I can do it sit and stare. I want to change that pattern but I don’t want to do it in a way that just creates more stress and more goals I can’t achieve.
I need to spend more time enjoying tea and crayons and cookbooks and friends. I need to reconnect with the flow of things and accept that everyone’s life has seasons and cycles and I’m not exception. No matter how much I try to fight it or how often I deny it, I end up back in the same place feeling more frustrated and defeated. I’m setting myself up to fail and I don’t want to do that anymore.
If I want to maintain this new direction I need to take things one day at a time and keep reminding myself that this is part of the cycle. Things will eventually change and I can embrace the change and deal with it when that occurs. For now, I need to work within the boundaries and are my life. They may prove to be a opportunity for transformation at a deep level, if I allow it.
It’s time to retire that bitch! The Queen of Swords, who has been so much a part of my persona, needs to be retired. She will always be a part of who I was and who I am but I’d like to give another side a chance for expression and exploration. The Queen of Swords has served me well and if I ever return to the business world I’m sure we will work together again but for now I need to find a different mode of expression.
The 3 of Pentacles reserved suggests that I need to unleash some of that creative, artistic energy I possess. It’s not important that whatever I create be of professional caliber or even be really good. What matters is that I allow myself to play; to simply enjoy the smell of the crayons and the blend of colors. If I don’t want to draw I can always write something. If I don’t try I’ll never know if I can do it. The 3 of Pentacles reminds me I don’t need to be a journeyman at this. Being a beginner or apprentice is just fine as long as I stay with it. Once again the message is that the journey is more important than the destination.
So the answer to my question is that the way to better express my creative side is simply to do it. I don’t need to second-guess myself or be hypercritical. I can simply enjoy the process of drawing and coloring or writing. In can put on music and dance and sing to my heart’s content. No one is watching and if they are so what?
The 5 of Wands shows a woman surrounded by disapproving male figures. She appears to be at work, a laptop is open on the desk in front of her, and she seems to be disagreeing with the men. In fact she almost seems to be scolding them. She does not seem intimidating but perhaps exasperated. This argument has gone round in circles several times already. She is telling me that I need to let go of this repeating cycle of disapproval and disagreement. In my case the people I battle are my own inner critics. It’s not an external struggle but one within myself. It’s pointless, self-defeating and relentless. Instead of taking care of myself I’m undermining myself.
The 4 of Swords is telling me to chill out, relax, blow some bubbles (I love blowing bubbles!). I love this image. Rather than the harried overworked career woman of the 5 of Wands, this card shows a woman who goes at her own pace, stops and smells the roses and just enjoys the ride. It’s been so long since I’ve approached life this way that it seems exotic.
The message this two cards give me is that I need to stop beating myself up, let go of the pointless struggle and just relax. I need to find ways to have fun even if it’s only for 10 minutes a day. I need to blow some bubbles and use my crayons. It’s time for me to “don’t worry that it’s not good enough for anyone else to hear, just sing, sing a song” as Karen Carpenter once sang. I’ve taken to reading SARK’s books again to reconnect with that child-like, fun side of myself.
I’m going to start doing morning pages again and playing with my crayons, colored pencils and coloring books. I miss them and used to lose myself in coloring. It’s time to get back to that again.
Interesting that embracing clarity does not involve an overabundance of intellect, wits or communication skills. Instead it would appear that those needs to be become something of a non-priority for me. I don’t need to be in charge. I don’t need to be leading the class. I don’t need to be goal oriented and focused right now.
Instead, like the relaxed woman on the 3 of Wands, I need to take time for tea and self-care. Even if I can only dedicate 10 minutes to myself every day that’s better than nothing. I need to stop and enjoy those little moments I can steal for myself. It’s not about becoming king of the world, it’s about being happy in mine.
This past few readings have pointed out that even in my current situation I tend to be very achievement oriented. I’m so busy looking at the map and plotting out the destination that I never look up and see the passing scenery. These cards are telling me that it’s time to knock it off and enjoy the scenery.
There is season for everything. I know that in my heart but sometimes mine mind shouts it out. It thinks it can control things if only it can figure out the pattern. I may be intelligent and quick witted about certain things but those skills aren’t very useful to me right now. Now it’s times for me to start fully embracing and exploring my more heart-centered, emotional and nurturing side. Even after several years caring for the in-laws I’m not comfortable with that side of myself. I’ve tried distancing myself from it and using my intellect to build barriers. I guess it’s time for the barriers to come down and face some truths. That’s the only way I’ll truly be clear and not confused.
Lack of focus and insight – that’s why I’m confused. My energy stores are depleted and my concentration is almost non-existent. With the situation surrounding me, focusing or concentrating on any task are absolute luxuries. I feel as though I’m developing attention deficit disorder because my attention span has become nonexistent. If I can focus on a book long enough to read a chapter it’s a minor miracle.
I’m beginning to realize that some of this confusion and lack of focus is circumstantial and not due to any innate character traits. My life is not conducive to focus or concentration right now. Things may change in the future but as things stand right now I’m fighting against the prevailing current. It’s frustrating but I need to be more flexible about this. It would seem that now is just not the time to focus on personal projects no matter how much I’d love to start.
I think the Queen of Chalices is telling me that I need to comfort myself right now. I need to give myself the same support and acceptance I would give a friend going through similar experiences. I think we all tend to be much harsher and more judgmental with ourselves in situations like this. Those inner critics that lie in wait to shred our self-confidence thrive on moments like this. Instead of feeding that energy I need to embrace myself and say all those kind, comforting things I’d tell a dear friend.
I don’t think I’m confused as much as I am exhausted and depleted. I’m confusing being warn out with being confused. I can’t focus on building a new career because I am up to my neck in my current career. Perhaps it’s not a paying job but caring for my in-laws is no less demanding, draining and time consuming. It’s time to stop fighting the current and go with the flow, even if that flow is taking me in a direction different from the one I would have chosen.
Looking at these cards two elements stuck out – the bird on the woman’s arm in the 10 of Swords and the reflection on the Knave of Chalices. My initial response was that I want to soar with the eagles (or at least I think I do) but can’t and I feel like I don’t know myself anymore. These factors could certainly contribute to confusion.
The 10 of Swords shows a beautiful image of a young woman holding her arm up to a golden bird. Is she releasing it or calling it? I’m not sure. I like to think she’s releasing it; unleashing her ideas and message to the world. Barbara Moore offers this interpretation of the card when reversed: “Reliving heartache by refusing to let go”. Considering these two elements perhaps some of the confusion manifesting in my life right now is that I can’t unleash my message. Hell, I’m not even sure I know my message any more. My ideas and ability to communicate with others have atrophied to the point that I’m not sure what they are anymore. It’s hard to develop a message or express ideas while wiping someone’s butt.
The Knave of Chalices peers into her reflection cast in a pool of water. The reflection is ripply and unclear, almost more illusion than reflection. Can she be sure what she sees? That’s how I feel about myself right now. I have no idea who I am. My reflection is unclear and indistinct. I feel like a rather amorphous blob with undefined boundaries. No wonder I’m confused.
These two cards suggest that the confusion is manifesting because my inability to let go of the past and move on has prevented me from creating a fully formed and articulated new me. I’m burred and undefined because I haven’t fully let go of Old Debbie and that prevents me from molding a new me.
I can’t say this is very surprising but it does clarify some things.
Out of balance and out of confidence – yes, I’d say that describes me right now. I’m still feeling like a bit of a mess. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun exploring the nature of extraterrestrials but in the long haul that won’t help me figure out what I want to do next with my life.
In the companion book, Barbara Moore offers the interpretation “stressed; too much to do; unable to give anything its proper attention”. In some ways this is a relief. Maybe the reason I’m feeling off balance and disconnected with the flow is because I just can’t do it right now. I’m trying to force something that just isn’t meant to happen right now. Sometimes I feel as though I’ being a slug. I’m not actually working on anything and I’m finding it difficult to focus. On the other hand I have a lot on my plate.
I sometimes think I don’t realize how exhausting it is to care for the in-laws. They both require continuous (continual) attention and long-term supervision. We can leave them alone for a few ours but no overnight or for any longer length of time. Even the simplest of tasks like preparing dinner can become challenging if something goes wrong with one of them. Sleeping has become challenging because my mother-in-law has developed a new habit of taking 3-4 hour “naps” and then waking up full of energy and wanting to talk. Right now we feel as sleep deprived as the parents of most newborns.
For the 7 of Wands reversed, Barbara offers this insight – “feeling defensive or overly protective”. Looking at the woman on this card I can honestly say I was that woman. When I worked in the non-profit sector I regularly facilitated training sessions, organized staff development workshops, developed programs and wrote grant applications. I knew I was good and I think that was conveyed in how I conducted myself (hell, there were times I was downright arrogant). Those days are long gone. Right now I feel like a complete failure at everything; someone that no person in their right mind would hire. In fact there are days when the idea of being in any group setting fills me with terror. Okay I’m overstating things a bit but I’m not really far from the mark here. Apparently I am quite an externally focused person when it comes to validation and feedback I need to hear it from someone else.
So I think what I need to explore next in my life is how I can regain a sense of balance and confidence. Instead of pushing myself to accomplish some elusive goal I need to focus on what I can do and how to keep my sanity. Goals and a mission statement are all well and good but maybe I’m trying to run when I’m barely able to walk. Perhaps scaling things down, taking baby steps will be more beneficial for me right now. Beating myself up about what I can’t and haven’t done is pointless and just makes things worse. I think I need to ease up on myself and focus on feeling better and just finding what joy I can in the day to day things.